Cool Planet announces commercial trials of biochar

By Erin Voegele | October 17, 2013

Cool Planet Energy Systems has announced the launch of its trademarked Cool Terra biochar for commercial agricultural trials. The company’s high-performance biochar soil amendments are designed for specific applications.

Rick Wilson, vice president of biochar at Cool Planet, explained that his company’s biochar production process differs in that it features an extra step that tailors the biochar to best fit a particular application. As a result, he said field trials have shown Cool Terra can increase crop yields while reducing water and fertilizer inputs by as much as 50 percent.

According to Wilson, more than a field dozen trials are currently taking place with commercial growers in the U.S. The product is targeted at high-value crops, such as tomatoes, berries, bell peppers, avocados and other produce.  Wilson noted that if all the growers currently trailing Cool Terra elect to use the product in full-scale commercial operations, the resulting demand would sell out production from at least three commercial-scale Cool Planet facilities.

Cool Planet is currently making experimental quantities of Cool Terra available through its website. In 2014, Wilson said Cool Planet believes it will be able to support a market of approximately 5,000 tons. The company is currently manufacturing the product at a pilot-scale facility and a demonstration plant. Next year, Cool Planet plans to build a dedicated biochar production facility.